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Benefactive and malefactive applicativization in Mapudungun

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Abstract

This paper argues that two productive applicatives in Mapudungun, viz. -<i>(l)el</i> and -<i>&#241;ma</i>, can be labeled benefactive and malefactive respectively, but only in a superficially impressionistic way. Based on a detailed survey of the literature on the language, as well as on synchronic evidence and some tentative internal reconstruction, I suggest that the yield of -<i>&#241;ma</i> was originally probably neutral with respect to benefaction, and that it still is in some uses of this suffix. According to this account, the appearance of <i>(l)el</i>-applicatives (probably from <i>elu</i>- &#8216;give&#8217; or el- &#8216;set&#8217;) gave rise to a privative opposition between the meaning of both morphemes with many bivalent predicates.

References

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